Friday, May 20, 2011

The Gates Of Paradise

Created in around 1425 -1452 CE in Florence, Italy, this pair of doors graces the eastern entrance of the Baptistry, which was built around 1050 CE. Many don't know that the doors that presently featured on the Baptistry are copies. The original panels are in the Duomo Museum for safekeeping and are currently being restored.

Here is a collection of the original panels. As you can see, the gold gilt that was overlaid on top of brass shows the damage of peeling, cracking and subsequent oxidation. Part of the restoration efforts focus on removing the oxidation and repairing the gilt on these amazing and profound reliefs.

Detail of the Story of Abraham

Detail of the Story of Adam and Eve

Detail of the Story of Joshua

Detail of the Story of Moses

Interestingly, it was Michaelangelo who first referred to them as "The Gates of Paradise".

Here are views of the copies which adorn The Baptistry today.

Detail of the Story of Abraham

Saturday, December 25, 2010

Crown Of Tillya Tepe

This amazing golden crown is from the Tillya Tepe, Tomb VI in the Bactria region of Afghanistan.. It is dated to approximately 100 BCE - 100 CE. Originally sold on the black market, this piece is part of an extensive collection that represents the artwork and culture along the ancient Silk Road stretching 5,000 miles from the Mediterranean Sea to China.

The collection was sold on the black market and was discovered after being locked away for ten years in six safes. They are now being kept safe under the supervision of Afghanistan's deputy cultural minister.

Diadem of Canossa

This beautiful diadem is adorned with white enameled flowers and embellished with blue, red and green enamel. Found in a tomb near Canossa, Iraq, it is dated to 300 BCE.

Princess Yabahya Necklace

This stunning piece was discovered in a tomb in Minrud, Iraq belonging to a young princess named Yabahya, daughter of one of Assyria's most powerful kings, Sagon II.

There was an error in this gadget